NI LCJ hits out at delay in abuse victim compensation

Sir Declan Morgan, Lord Chief Justice for NI, has said that it is “shocking” that 2 ½ years after the final report of the HIAI, lead by Sir Anthony Hart who sadly died earlier this year without seeing his recommendations implemented,  was released there has been no progress in implementing those recommendations.

Along with recommendations on apologies, a memorial and the appointment of a Commissioner for survivors and victims the report recommended a Redress Scheme.  While an interim advocate has been appointed to assist the survivors in pressing their agenda forward there has been no progress in the creation of a Redress Scheme.

The LCJ said this lack of progress “epitomises how the lack of an Assembly impacts negatively on the lives of Northern Ireland citizens.”  Sir Declan called on the government in Westminster to take the appropriate steps to implement the recommendations through the necessary legislation “…so that Sir Anthony’s work is fulfilled and the victims are given the redress that is so long overdue.”

The prorogation of Parliament will only lead to further delays and frustrations in the implementation of the recommendations and the Secretary of State has indicated that he feels some form of government needs to be in place before Parliament is prorogued.  That is unlikely and with the disputes over “Brexit”, “No Deal”, “the Backstop” and the likelihood of another election in the very near future the potential for progress must be as far away as ever.

Clearly the comments from Sir Declan show that the frustrations felt in Northern Ireland about the lack of political progress are felt across the community.

Written by Ciara McReynolds at BLM

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